Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown passed a law that drastically changes the felony murder rule. One of the most important aspects of this new law is that it is retroactive. That means that if you or someone you care about was convicted of murder under the felony murder rule, you or your loved one may be able to apply for resentencing under the new law. This could result in a reduction of your current sentence and possibly an early release from custody.
How Has the Felony Murder Law Changed?
Previously, under California Penal Code Section 189, you could be charged and convicted of murder for any killing that occurred during the commission of a dangerous felony, even if you were not the person who actually committed the homicide.
For instance, let’s say you and your friend agreed to carjack another person. When you planned the carjacking, you did not plot to shoot the victim of the crime. When you and your friend are committing the carjacking, your friend decides to shoot the owner of the vehicle and he dies. Under the felony murder rule, you could be charged and convicted of murder even though it was never your intention for someone to die as a result of your crime and you did not commit the actual act of killing the person.
However, the new law restricts the felony murder rule to only the person or persons who:
- Actually committed the act of killing someone
- Aided the killing with the intent to kill, or
- Acted with reckless disregard to human life during the course of the commission of a felony
Changing the felony murder rule will correctly place the blame for a killing on the person who directly did the killing or to those whose actions were recklessly indifferent to the danger of their actions to the people around them.
Can I Be Resentenced Under the New Law?
It is estimated that as many as 800 inmates may be eligible for resentencing now that the felony murder rule has been changed. If you believe you or someone you love is eligible for resentencing, you should contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich immediately.
Your attorney may be able to apply for a hearing where he or she can argue that your actions did not fall within the definition of felony murder under the new law. The prosecution in the case will have the chance to oppose that argument or choose to allow for resentencing.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Persons convicted under the old felony murder rule now have a chance to seek resentencing or early release from prison. If you believe this applies to you or someone you love, you should contact our skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich today. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience successfully helping clients obtain post-conviction relief. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Contact our law offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.